Friday, February 27, 2015

Teaser Time: Excerpt from "The Melody"

Good morning!  With about a month to go before my second book "The Melody" is published, I thought it would a good time to give everyone a teaser.  Enjoy!  (The following work is copyright 2015 by H.A. Larson and is the sole property of H.A. Larson author.)


"Jessie opened the front door with a sense of déjà vu.  She turned to look at her mother, her face softer this time.  “Just when are you in the mood mom?”
Lisa softened on hearing Jessie call her 'mom,' just like Tom had cringed when she had called him 'dad' instead of her usual 'daddy.'  Jessie hadn’t referred to her as anything except 'mother' in the last five years.  “I don’t know,” she answered her daughter honestly.
“Bye mom,” Jessie said softly as she turned to walk down the front steps towards Matt’s waiting car.
“Bye Jessie,” Lisa responded in kind before adding, “Be careful.”
“I will,” Jessie answered without looking back.  Now it’s was Lisa’s turn for déjà vu.  Again, she watched through the window as her daughter drove off with the mystery boy.  When they were out of sight, she turned to go back to what she had been doing previously.
Standing on the stairway staring at her was her middle child, Joey.  “Fighting with Jessie like usual?” he asked her.
She sighed and told him, “No Joey, we weren’t fighting.”
            “What would you call it then?”
            “We were having a disagreement.”
            “That’s just another way of saying you were fighting.”
            “Ok, I give up.  You’re right Joey.  You’re always right aren’t you?”
            “Are you going to argue with me too?”
            “Don’t start!” Lisa scolded him.
            “Whatever,” he answered while holding her gaze.
            “You’re just like your sister,” she chided him.
            “Ever think maybe you’re the one with the problem?” he boldly asked her.
            Flabbergasted by his biting words, all she could do was stand there with her mouth open.  Knowing he hit a nerve, he turned and walked back upstairs to the solitude of his bedroom. 
            “Like father, like son,” she muttered under her breath.  Both Tom and Joey spent most of their time hiding out in their preferred spaces.  Even Jake, who was almost ready to drive alone, was spending more and more time in his room and away from the common areas.  It just contributed to the feelings of being alone that she had experienced for many years.
            She hadn’t always felt alone.  She used to have Christie.
Growing up, she had always had plenty of friends, but none that she considered a best friend.  That all changed during the summer between third and fourth grades, when Christie Anderson had moved into the vacant house next door. 
It used to be the home of the Meyer family whose children were long gone when Lisa’s family moved into the sleepy ranch to their left.  Mr. Meyer passed away at age seventy-nine, and Mrs. Meyer followed five years later.  Their old two-story Victorian sat empty for a year until the Andersons bought it.
They were from Pennsylvania originally, but had moved to Clayton when Christie’s dad, Mike, had accepted a promotion from Central Railroad.  Central Railroad’s corporate office was in Clayton, and the railroad itself had contributed to the growth of Clayton.  It was the reason Clayton hadn’t withered into a ghost town by now.
Christie was the same age as Lisa, and they had hit it off right away.  Christie really understood Lisa, Lisa really understood Christie, and they loved all the same things.  By the end of the summer they were best friends.  They grew up together in their neighboring houses on the quaint and quiet street of Choke Cherry Lane.  They had many slumber parties, and went on vacations with each other’s families.  They had shared all their hopes, all their dreams, and, like best friends do, they had also kept each other’s secrets. 
Then the summer after they graduated high school, right after Lisa found out she was pregnant, Christie disappeared.  Lisa was devastated by the inexplicable loss of her closest, dearest friend that, to this day, she never really had another friend period.  She didn’t want another friend, she wanted Christie back, but she knew in her heart that Christie was probably long dead.
She had never been the same since that summer, and she realized the truth: that she was angry and bitter because of it.  This led her to be the aloof, icy person she was today.  She thought of how much different she would probably be now if her friend were still alive.  She hung her head in sadness as a lone tear fell from her eyes and landed on the floor.  It was the first time she had cried in years, so she let the salty water flow down her face as she got down to sit cross-legged on the floor. 
Alone in the corner, forever alone while her family kept their usual distance, her body heaved with sobs that were a long overdue.  Off in the distance, the sky darkened.  A lone shot of thunder cracked through the sky, rumbled throughout the house, and masked the sounds of heartache."








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